For the 50-year anniversary of the Calibre 11 automatic chronograph movement’s 1969 release, TAG Heuer is celebrating this milestone in horology and the square-cased watch in which it debuted. The brand is releasing five models throughout the year, one for each decade in the the Monaco’s life, and this is the second one, dedicated to the 1980s and featuring a burning red dial.
Red-dial watches are still pretty rare, but they can be striking when they work. Here, a red dial is meant to evoke the racing scene of the ’80s, and simultaneously ties in to other racing connections as well. Equally important for the Monaco’s success as its movement and distinctive design was, as every #watchnerd knows, was its being featured on Steve McQueen’s wrist in the 1971 motorsport film Le Mans.
Since TAG Heuer already had a pretty faithful modern version of the most famous “McQueen” Monaco, the brand has taken the interesting approach of embodying different eras with striking dial colors. The first Monaco in this year’s five-watch series was green and yellow for the 1970s. Aside from the red sunbrushed dial, the specs remain consistent with existing Monaco watches that mimic the layout and look of the originals.
In a 39mm wide steel case with 100m of water resistance, the modern TAG Heuer Monaco uses a Sellita SW 300 movement that has been modified to recreate the look of the 1969 Calibre 11, with the crown on the left and pushers on the right. As was the case with the previous model, only 169 pieces of the new TAG Heuer Monaco 1979-1989 Limited Edition will be produced, and each will have a price of $6,550.
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